Saturday, 5 June 2010

Jupiter hit again?, Solarfest, IAA/UAS sostice event, NLCs.‏

Hi all,

1. ANOTHER JUPITER IMPACT? Australian amateur Anthony Wesley has reported seeing a very bright flash on Jupiter lasting several seconds at 20:31 UT last evening. It appeared near the terminator limb, at roughly the position where the SEB used to be, until its recent disappearance. All observers please take a look and see if an impact scar(s) has appeared!

The C. M. Longitudes of his raw image (link below) are:
C.M.: System 1: 300.1° System 2: 34.1° System 3: 210.6° (N.B. The System 2 Longitude is the relevant one. This longitude will be visible on the mornings of 5 June and 7 June from Ireland.)

Here is a link to photo:

See the Video on Space Weather - it's quite obvious! The 'impact', assuming that's what it was, seems to comprise several elements in quick succession, and in close proximity, but that could just be the image breaking up due to poor seeing. See:

2. SOLARFEST AT DUNSINK: Saturday 12th June at Dunsink Observatory just off the M50 at the N3 Interchange.
Admission is FREE. Many thanks to DIAS and Trinity College for supporting the event.
Below is a programme of the day:
10:45 - Registration
11:15 - "The Sun-Earth Connection" - Dr. Peter Gallagher (TCD)
12:00 - Tea/Coffee
12:15 - "The Sun in Time" - Dr. Graham Harper (TCD)
13:00 - Lunch: Bring your own Picnic. Tea/Coffee will be provided.
13:45 - Solar Observing
14:30 - Tour of the South Dome and Grubb Telescope
15:00 - "3D Sun" NASA DVD
15:30 - Solar Imaging Workshop - Dave Gradwell (IFAS)
16:00 - Tea/Coffee
16:15 - "Introduction to Solar Filters" - Michael O'Connell (IFAS)
16:45 - "Solar Stellar Outreach" - Deirdre Kelleghan (IFAS)
17:15 - Q/A Session
Dinner: The Twelfth Lock - Menu Attached.
20:00 - Evening Public Lecture - "The Power of the Sun" - Dr. David Williams (UCL, MSSL)
The event is informal and, weather permitting, is hoped to generate plenty solar observing, sketching, imaging and healthy discussion. If you have appropriate solar equipment, please feel free to bring it along - the more the better.
For lunch, a picnic will take place in the open area around the observatory. Tea & coffee will be provided of course - all you need to do is bring your own food. If anyone has a spare picnic table or two, it would be greatly appreciated!
At the end of the afternoon session, we will head to The Twelfth Lock Bar (a 2 min drive) for an informal dinner which can be paid for individually at the bar (see menu attached). If you plan to stay for dinner, please let me know so that we can give approximate numbers to the bar (you can change your mind on the day of course).
At 8pm, our Evening Public Lecture will be presented by Dr. David Williams of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London who is flying over just for the event. As this special lecture is also open to members of the public, we need to know exact numbers of those attending the evening lecture.
If you are interested in attending the evening lecture, we would greatly appreciate if you can please reply ASAP indicating so. All other remaining seats will be offered to the general public.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask.
Regards & Clear Skies,
Michael O'Connell, Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies (IFAS)

3. IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION / ULSTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY / EHS SOLSTICE EVENT, SATURDAY 19 JUNE. The IAA + UAS, in conjunction with the Environment and Heritage Service, will be holding another joint event to mark the summer solstice, with a visit to Ballynoe Stone Circle, near Downpatrick, Co Down. This is the largest and most impressive and complex stone circle in Northern Ireland, and may well have a winter solstice sunset alignment with the most prominent dip in the profile of the Mourne Mountains to the SW.
We will visit the stone circle at 14.00, where there will be talks about the archaeology and possible astronomical connections, and then adjourn to the nearby beach at Minerstown for a BBQ/picnic. In the case of bad weather, there are local pubs for refreshments. More details, and directions, early next week, but mark your diaries now.

4. NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS. This is the start of the season for NLCs, with the first reports of sightings from Scandinavia and N. Scotland. These beautiful, ethereal, silvery / bluish - white clouds can be seen low in the N sky from around the start of nautical twilight, i.e. near local midnight by your watches and clocks (assuming they are set to Summer Time!). They are visible only in late twilight, after the Sun is too low to illuminate the usual lower tropospheric clouds. Indeed, if any scattered lower clouds are there, they will show up as dark, silhouetted against the NLCs. A good guide is to look for Capella, which can often be seen glinting in the midst of any NLCs. Please report any sightings to me, and the iAA website,

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley


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